wnol.info June 23 2018

Manchester City and Manchester United lead English sides in Champions League odds

June 23 2018, 11:19 | Van Peters

After a summer where they have brought in Neymar and Kylian Mbappe they have to go far in the Champions League.

Jose Mourinho has played down Manchester United's chances of Champions League glory, saying English domestic fixture congestion will work against the three-time European champions.

Neither has played a minute of competitive football for more than a month but Mourinho claimed both would have started even if Phil Jones and Eric Bailly were not suspended. He is a classic Mourinho player with a physical presence and charisma.

Manchester United [have been there] season after season.

"We are a big club and maybe the biggest in the world but we were not in the Champions League last season and we have to take it step by step".

United's squad flourished in the Europa League and that will help somewhat - but Michael Carrick is the only Champions League victor in the entire squad, with Paul Pogba a losing finalist.

"It's 50-50 really. If you're in the Champions League you want to be playing the best teams".

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"He had a problem in the national team and he played against Greece and after the match, he felt the problem", Mourinho said.

Romelu Lukaku should ready himself for Champions League bench duty at Manchester United once Zlatan Ibrahimovic returns, Paul Parker has warned. "I trust them. I am not anxious at all that Bailly and Jones are out". Ashley Young, Luke Shaw and Marouane Fellaini are all early doubts. Their last victory was on February 25, 2016, when they won at home against St Etienne in the second leg of the round of 32 in the Europa League.

He talked about this being United's natural habit but that more than applies to the Portuguese, too. Qualification is a "basic" for United, he said, before reasoning that "we can not forget we came from the Europa League". Basel will be visiting a slightly celebratory Old Trafford as the famous anthem will be played again.

Highlighting the cases of Real Madrid and Juventus, last season's Champions League finalists, Mourinho argued that both were able to prioritise European competition in a way that no English club could.

Zidane was critical of his side after their display at the weekend, but said he and his players were relaxed despite drawing back-to-back league games for the first time in a year.

'We have to try to qualify, we have to try to go to the last 16 and enjoy that special knockout phase with the best teams in Europe'.

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